Crumb-Topped Apple Pie {Bake Now or Freeze for Later}

freezer apple pie

This easy, Crumb-Topped Apple Pie is one of the best apple pies I have ever eaten. The fact that it can be made ahead, frozen unbaked for up to three months, and baked from frozen (no need to remember to take it out ahead of time to thaw!) is just a bonus. Although what a bonus!

Some call a crumb-topped pie a French pie, others call it a Dutch pie, but I just call it my favorite. I like the buttery, yummy crumb topping so much better than a crust. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I only have to roll out one dough. Nothing at all.

Freezer apple pie in foil

Freezing it to make later is easy. Once you make and assemble the dough, apple filling, and crumb topping (when it’s convenient for you), wrap it in heavy-duty (or double thick) foil – pie plate and all – and seal it well. Label and date the outside. I also write the instructions on the foil, so I don’t even have to bother finding the recipe when it’s time to bake.

apple pie uncooked

When you’d like a warm-from-the-oven apple pie, carefully unwrap the frozen pie and place it on a cookie sheet. See that thick and substantial crumb topping? No whimpy toppings here – this will not get lost in the fruit. Ever.

Freezer apple pie-pan

Take the foil that surrounded the pie in the freezer and cover the pie and cookie sheet loosely with the foil. Bake for 40 minutes, remove the foil and bake for about 40 minutes more- until the apples are tender.

Crumb-topped apple pie

That’s it. Wouldn’t this be perfect for the holidays? I love to have one of these in the freezer to have “at the ready.” Of course, you can make and cook it right away. In fact, I usually try to double the recipe so we can have one right away, and the other waiting in the freezer.

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Crumb-Topped Apple Pie {To Bake Now or Freeze for Later}

For each pie: 

  • 1 unbaked single crust pie dough
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 Tb. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 c. thinly sliced & peeled tart apples

For topping:

  • 3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. butter
  1. Roll out pie dough and fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate (a regular pie plate will work, but you may need less apples), fluting the edges.
  2. If baking right away, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the sugar, flour & cinnamon with the sliced apples together and transfer into prepared pie crust.
  4. Make the topping by stirring together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter in pieces and process until the mixture starts to hold together (alternately, use a pastry blender to cut in the butter by hand in a small bowl).
  5. Break off pieces of the topping (it should be solid enough that it can’t be “sprinkled”) and evenly place over the top of the apples, covering them completely. Gently pat mixture down.
  6. To bake now: Place pie on a baking sheet and cover entire pie loosely with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes more until top is golden and apples are tender. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. To freeze and bake later: After step 5, wrap entire pie – plate and all – with heavy duty foil (or double thickness of foil). Label and freeze up to three months. When ready to bake, remove foil and place frozen pie on a cookie sheet. Use the same foil to cover the pie loosely with foil (I just attach it loosely to the edges of the cookie sheet). Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, remove foil and bake for 40-45 minutes more until the top is browned and the apples are tender.

Note: If you’d like to make this pie over-the-top decadent, drizzle it with this easy-to-make caramel sauce!

-Jami

This is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.

Comments

  1. Jill says

    I had a problem with my pie crust not cooking – everything else was done but the bottom was doughy. Any suggestions?

    • Jami says

      Hi, Jill – sorry you had that happen! I use a glass pie dish so I can tell if the crust is done and simply cook it longer (covering the top with foil if needed) until the bottom crust is nice and brown, too. That’s the only way I know to be sure it gets all the way done. Hope that works for you next time. :)

  2. Lorette says

    Thank you soo much for this crumble recipe! It tastes delicious. This weekend I searched for an apple crumble recipe and I am so glad I stumble upon yours. Only problem is that I had to search a few of my books to get a recipe for the pie crust dough. Nevertheless, the result was excellent. This is now saved under my facourites.

    • says

      Glad you discovered it, too, Lorette – it’s one of our favorites. I’ve never really discovered the ‘perfect’ pie crust, that’s why I haven’t posted one – though the one I’m using now is close. Maybe I’ll post it and link to it here – thanks for the suggestion!

    • says

      Not sure, Janet – I’ve not done it. But I know they sell frozen pies with regular crusts, so I think it should! Let us know if you try it. :)

  3. Amy says

    Can I use an already-frozen pie crust that I buy at the store? I was thinking of filling the frozen pie crust and then put it back in the freezer, re-wrapped.

    • says

      I haven’t tried that, Amy, but I don’t see why not. I guess maybe make sure the crust doesn’t thaw completely? Let us know how that works for you!

      • Amy says

        Just wanted to follow-up. I made 8 apple crumb pies using Pillsbury frozen crusts. I made the filling and then took the pie crusts out of the freezer one package at a time (two crusts per package). I quickly filled the pie crusts with apples and crumb topping, wrapped them in tin foil, put them in a Ziploc freezer bag, and then immediately put them in the freezer. I baked my first one today and it turned out perfectly! So anyone who wants to use frozen pie crusts, go for it! Just be sure the crust doesn’t have time to thaw out. That’s why I peeled all the apples and made the crumb topping BEFORE taking the crusts out of the freezer.

  4. Shelley Young says

    What a great idea to freeze an apple pie. I’m not good at making pie crust. What about using the refrigerated pie crust then freezing?

  5. says

    There is a recipe contest sponsored by Lucky Leaf on FB right now and you might want to know that a contestant has borrowed your photograph (cropped it some) and represented it as her own. You will see it on page 12 of the gallery with a title of Apple Crumble Pie with Cream Cheese

  6. Paul Stann says

    Jill, next time, make your crust as per usual. Fit it into your pie plate, flute it, and using a fork pierce the crust all over bottom and sides. Bake it for about 10 minutes at 350, observe it carefully). This sets the dough and the piercings prevent air from below to create bubbles and lumps. Remove it and let it cool before filling it. Goog luck.

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